A new multi-purpose ID (MP-ID) is expected to bring the region closer together and make the lives of Vincentians easier.

So said Minister of economic Planning, Sustainable Development, Industry, Trade, Information and Labour Camillo Gonsalves at last Friday’s launch of the new identification card.

Gonsalves stated that the World Bank funded programme, which has already been rolled out in other Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) countries, would allow each citizen to have a unique identification number.

“The number that you get…will follow you around as you work and live and the data about you will grow,” he explained.

Multi- Purpose ID card could be used for voting, identifying an individual at hospitals, civil registries, social security, customs, banks, telephone companies and supermarkets to name a few.

The introduction of the cards is in keeping with a project approved by the World Bank for Dominica, St. Lucia, Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines .

Why do Digital IDs matter?

A government’s ability to deliver important services to its people depends on its ability to uniquely identify people. An official identity is central to everything from health care and voting to social welfare and transport. It’s vital to private enterprise as well, as financial institutions require client verification before disbursing a loan or making transfers.

In many developing countries, official identification remains an elusive goal: for example, in Sub-Saharan Africa, as many as 55 percent of people have no official identification record. This lack of identification severely hampers access to services. Research conducted in 2014 shows that:

  • 625 million children were not registered at birth
  • More than two billion people lack formal identification
  • 500 million people were outside the regulated financial system for lack of recognized ID documentation

The rapid growth of mobile phone subscriptions – seven billion globally – is a historic opportunity to reduce the “identity gap.” Digital ID allows for unique and secure identification and authentication of a person’s identity, which grants access to a range of online services. As a result, Digital ID is a game changer and a force-multiplier in the global push toward poverty alleviation, access to finance and shared prosperity.

Digital ID gives government and business the ability to deliver services electronically, boosting efficiency and driving innovation. This advance is especially important in developing countries, where impoverished populations are often isolated and unreached by critical economic and social services.

 Insights from recent Digital ID activities in Armenia, Moldova, Vietnam and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States indicate that national identification systems through electronic and biometric technology can facilitate service delivery, as well as catalyze modernization of civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) systems.

The goal is “making everyone count” by “providing an identity and delivering digital ID-enabled services to all.” The Digital ID program of the Transport & ICT Global Practice is a key element of the multi-sectoral ID4D agenda. The latter is aligned with Sustainable Development Goal 16.9, “legal identity for all, including birth registration,” by 2030.

As it pursues ID4D, the World Bank will collaborate with development partners and governments to provide unified technical and financial support to low- and middle-income countries.

Written from source news Local and International.

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